Friday 23 June 2017
(AFP (eng) 05/24/17)
Kenyan athletics selectors have been forced into wholesale changes to the marathon team for the August 4-13 World Athletics Championships in London following the withdraw of four top runners including Olympic men's champion Eliud Kipchoge. Kipchoge, who narrowly missed out on becoming the first athlete to run a sub-two hour marathon last month, said he needed to rest after the gruelling record attempt in Monza, Italy. He is joined on the withdrawal list by former world record holder Wilson Kipsang, who failed to win nomination for a parliamentary seat last month and is believed to be eyeing a shot at the Berlin marathon title in September. Other athletes who have backed out for consideration include three-time London marathon women's winner...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
Three police officers were killed in eastern Kenya on Wednesday when their vehicle hit a landmine, a senior official said, in an attack claimed by Somali jihadist group al Shabaab. The officers were part of a three-vehicle early morning patrol in the Somali border region when their truck hit the improvised explosive device (IED), North Eastern regional commissioner Mohamud Ali Saleh said. "The police car ran over an IED and we have casualties. All the dead officers are from one work station," Saleh told Reuters, without revealing the number of wounded officers. "From past incidences, it is easy to see that even this one is the work of our enemy, the al Shabaab. They plant these IEDs to target our...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/24/17)
When U.S. President Donald Trump and other leaders of the world's seven major industrialized nations gather in Sicily on Friday, they will enjoy a spectacular view of the Mediterranean Sea, but won't get any glimpse of boats full of migrants. A common sight off Sicily in recent years, the authorities have banned all migrant landings on the island during the Group of Seven Summit for security reasons, telling rescue vessels that pick them up at sea to take them to the mainland during the two-day meeting. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Italy chose to host the summit in Taormina, on the cliffs of eastern Sicily, to concentrate minds on Europe's migrant crisis and to seek ways...
(Xinhuanet 05/23/17)
Kenya has concluded preparations to host a business delegation from Shenzhen in early June, a government official said on Monday. Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) CEO Moses Ikiara told Xinhua in Nairobi that the delegation comprising of government and business officials will be led by the Mayor of Shenzhen. "The delegation will be in Kenya to seek investment opportunities in the construction and manufacturing sectors," Ikiara said on the sidelines of the Health and Tourism Forum. According to KenInvest, China's role in Kenya's economy has been increasing in the recent past few years. "If you look at the average Foreign Direct Investments for the period between
(The New York Times 05/23/17)
James Njoroge, an Uber driver in Nairobi, earns barely $5 at the end of a grueling 10-hour workday ferrying customers through snarled traffic across the Kenyan capital. Now a new competitor is in town, threatening to undercut even these meager earnings. That rival is none other than Mr. Njoroge’s own employer. Uber in Kenya, already one of the company’s most affordable services in the world, charges customers in Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, a minimum fare of $2.90. Uber is aiming to beat back competing services by pushing its prices even lower. In April, the San Francisco-based company announced it was introducing an even cheaper service at half that price, $1.45, by allowing its drivers to use much older, lower-quality cars. Drivers...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/23/17)
Fossils from Greece and Bulgaria of an ape-like creature that lived 7.2 million years ago may fundamentally alter the understanding of human origins, casting doubt on the view that the evolutionary lineage that led to people arose in Africa. Scientists said on Monday the creature, known as Graecopithecus freybergi and known only from a lower jawbone and an isolated tooth, may be the oldest-known member of the human lineage that began after an evolutionary split from the line that led to chimpanzees, our closest cousins. The jawbone, which included teeth, was unearthed in 1944 in Athens. The premolar was found in south-central Bulgaria in 2009. The researchers examined them using sophisticated new techniques including CT scans and established their age...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Police shot dead one person in northern Kenya's Isiolo county after a political rally attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta at which supporters of rival political candidates for regional government positions clashed, police said. Officials and political leaders said the trouble started before Kenyatta arrived to address the gathering on Saturday. Kenya's Aug. 8 presidential campaign in which incumbent president Kenyatta will run, coincides with elections for members of parliament and representatives in regional governments, known as counties. Devolution of some powers to county level during Kenyatta's presidency, and the associated access to and control of lucrative local budgets and high official salaries
(Bloomberg 05/22/17)
Kenyan corn millers warned the government twice in the past six months the country faced a shortage of the staple that’s left strategic reserves at less than a day’s supply. Grain processors advised the government in November that a shortfall was looming and in February suggested that a 50 percent import duty be removed to enable shipments, said Paloma Fernandes, chief executive officer of the Cereal Millers Association. The nation, which declared a drought emergency in February, only gazetted the removal of the import tax in April, which meant shipments only started arriving this month. “We’d foreseen this shortage because it happens every five years or so when there’s a drought in Kenya,” Fernandes said on Friday from the capital,...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/22/17)
Countries in sub-Saharan Africa need to get their budgets in order, diversify their economies and look after their poorest people. If they do that, there is no reason why the region cannot have the strong growth needed to meet the aspirations of a young and growing population. That, at least, is the three-pillared prescription from the International Monetary Fund as expressed by one of its top Africa researchers, Celine Allard, in an official IMF blog post and podcast. Allard co-authored the Fund's regional economic outlook, released earlier this month. It found that sub-Saharan economic growth hit only 1.4 percent last year, the lowest level in two decades and well off the 5-6 percent rates normally reached. It was also well...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/20/17)
France will step up the fight against resurgent Islamist militants in north and west Africa and will work more closely with Germany to help the tinderbox region, President Emmanuel Macron said on his first trip outside Europe on Friday. Visiting Mali days after taking office, Macron vowed to keep French troops in the Sahel region until there was "no more Islamist terrorism" there. He said operations would be escalated in response to signs that militant groups were regrouping and uniting. "It is vital today that we speed up. Our armed forces are giving their all, but we must speed up" efforts to secure the Sahel, he told a news conference in Gao, Mali, where he held talks with President Ibrahim...
(Capitalfm Business 05/19/17)
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission on Friday gave political parties until Sunday to make corrections to their list of nominees. In a statement, Chairman Wafula Chebukati said that despite the Commission previously extending the deadline for the submission of the lists, the lists still contained numerous mistakes. “The deadline for submission of the candidates was on May 16. This followed an extension of six days to allow parties time to finalise their respective lists. However, the Commission noted a number of issues for concerned parties to address with immediate effect.” The issues the Commission enumerated, include missing names for running mates for presidential and gubernatorial seats
(Business Daily 05/19/17)
Kenya plans to open up a specialty and orthodox tea auction in Mombasa in a move expected to make the country the pioneer purple tea sales host. East African Tea Traders Association (EATTA), which runs the globally renowned Mombasa auction, says plans are at an advanced stage to roll out the trading in purple, green and orthodox tea sales at the weekly auction. The Tea Directorate said the auction would play a key role by creating clear structures for the marketing. Currently, only black CTC tea, which Kenya is renowned for, is sold through the auction while some specialty varieties are sold directly to the export market. “We are doing a feasibility study at the moment to establish if we...
(Business Daily 05/19/17)
National Bank of Kenya (NBK) NBK expects to close a Sh4.4 billion shareholder loan by end of September to shore up its capital, which has remained below regulatory requirements for 15 months. The mid-sized lender has been seeking the debt funding from its top two shareholders: National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the Treasury, since June last year following the collapse of a planned Sh13 billion rights issue. “We are engaging our shareholders. We have done presentations to them and hope to close this financing by end of third quarter,” said NBK chairman Mohamed Abdirahman Hassan after the lender’s annual general meeting held on Friday. “We decided to look for debt as we wait for equity. On rights issue, we...
(Standard Digital 05/19/17)
Kenya Pipeline Company remained profitable despite an increasing preference for Tanzania by importers of petroleum products in the neighbouring landlocked countries. The company yesterday said it posted a 16 per cent growth in profit after tax to Sh8.4 billion for the year to June 2016 compared to Sh7.2 billion reported in 2015. It attributed the growth to improved fuel supply and a cost-cutting strategy. The rise in profit was on account of revenue growth from Kenya even with revenues from transporting fuel to neighbouring countries going down. KPC Managing Director Joe Sang said improved fuel supply and a prudent cost management strategy taken by the firm were key to driving growth. “The company’s growth has been underpinned by strategic initiatives...
(News24 05/19/17)
A Kenyan health official says the government has issued an alert over a cholera outbreak in the capital after five cases of the disease were confirmed and three other suspected cases were being investigated. Nairobi County Health Executive Bernard Muia said on Thursday the disease came from travellers from the town of Vihiga in western Kenya who were in Nairobi for a wedding. Cholera is a fast-developing, highly contagious, water-borne illness that can cause diarrhea so severe that victims can die of dehydration in hours if they don't get treatment. The infection spreads in areas without clean drinking water and with poor sanitation. Nairobi's county government has been criticized over sanitation, which is among the key issues raised against Governor...
(Business Daily 05/19/17)
Poultry farmers in Nakuru County could soon require written permission from the government in order to rear more than 30 heads of chicken. This is according to the Urban Agriculture Promotion and Regulation Bill, which, if passed, will see those keeping poultry without a licence fined half a million shillings or facing a jail term of not more than 24 months or both. “Any person who intends to keep more than 30 heads of poultry shall make a written application to the county government and may only keep more than 30 heads of poultry upon receiving written authority from the county government,” reads part of the Bill. The proposed law, which was tabled on Wednesday, further states that before a...
(Reuters (Eng) 05/19/17)
When rich countries wrote off billions of dollars of African debt in 2005, they hoped governments would think twice about borrowing again in costly foreign currencies. Over a decade later, most sub-Saharan African countries still rely on U.S. dollar-denominated debt to finance their economies. Some investors say this is sowing the seeds of future debt crises if local currencies devalue and make dollar debt repayments more expensive. Aside from South Africa and Nigeria, governments have not yet done enough to develop capital markets that would have allowed them to raise more money in their own currencies, investors say. United Nations trade body UNCTAD estimates that Africa's external debt stock rapidly grew to $443 billion by 2013 through bilateral borrowing, syndicated...
(Xinhuanet 05/18/17)
Kenya's security forces have been put on a standby mode to enhance arrest and prosecution of individuals engaging in hate speech during this election season, officials said on Wednesday. Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Coordination of National Government, Joseph Nkaissery said the State will deal firmly with aspirants who incite communities to take up arms as campaign for the Aug. 8 general election gathers steam. "The government is closely monitoring the ongoing campaigns to ensure violence is nipped in the bud. We will not spare inciters and war-mongers regardless of their political affiliation," Nkaissery said. He spoke at an international conference on peace, security and social enterprise that took place
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Uganda, which wants to start building part of a multi-billion-dollar rail line to Kenya, must wait for its neighbor to decide on plans for its portion of the track before the project’s main funder makes money available, the country’s finance minister said. Export-Import Bank of China will arrange financing for Uganda only when it’s sure that Kenya “is willing and able to extend its railway to the border, so that they don’t fund a white elephant,” Finance Minister Matia Kasaija said. Kenya has committed to the line, but wants to start building when it’s in a position to borrow more money, he said. Eximbank will provide 85 percent of the $2.3 billion Uganda needs for the line, Kasingye Kyamugambi, the...
(Capitalfm Business 05/18/17)
Kenya is the leading Africa Prospect Indicator for Micro Business, Consumer, and Retail markets. This is according to Nielsen's 4th Africa Prospects Indicator report which attributes Kenya's performance to strong agricultural output, a resurgent tourism sector as well as increased FDI resulting in infrastructure projects that have spurred the diversified economy. Kenya has been in the upper regions of the API ranking since inception beating Cote d'Ivoire, Tanzania, South Africa and Ghana respectively in the top five. The report says East Africa's most prominent economy is at the centre of growth prospects shift from West to East Africa. However, Kenya's retail sector is facing a mixed bag of fortunes. "Truly informal small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as new start-ups,...

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